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SBD/November 14, 2011/Events and Attractions
Eccelestone Expresses Doubts About F1 Running '12 Grand Prix Event In Austin
Published November 14, 2011
APPLE OF MY EYE: Grand Prix of America Exec Chair Leo Hindery appeared on Speed’s “Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain” Sunday night to discuss staging an F1 race in the N.Y. area. Host Dave Despain said, “This idea has been around a long time. How long have you been working on making this happen?” Hindery: “This particular site is about a two-year project but … this thing is a 10-plus year endeavor. Formula One can't be just a race site. It can’t be just great racing. It has to be both a destination for the fans, a place they want to come back to year-after-year. It has to compete geographically with the capitals of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, so these endeavors to bring Formula One to the United States, the ones that failed would typically not be able to combine the three into a single project.” Despain noted no taxpayer money is being used for the race. Despain: "You're going to bring huge economic benefit to New York and New Jersey. Why shouldn't those governments help pay for the attraction that’s going to have all this benefit?” Hindery: “I don't believe municipalities or states have an obligation or even a prerogative of making us wealthy in a sport that is a business. But it's also a difficult economic time. I've never seen any of the forecasts matched with reality about what the benefits would be. The benefits would be substantial, but they're not so substantial that I'm going to bet that somebody should use taxpayer dollars to subsidize our race.” Hindery said every expense the towns should incur would be reimbursed so “that was part of why it was so hard to put together. It took us two years to find this site that would work to that effect” ("Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain," Speed, 11/13).